Plastic to Performance
The PET Recycling Process
- PET bottles are sorted from other recyclable plastics such as PVC and HDPE, as the reclaimed material (PET flakes) is most valuable when it is most pure
- Bales of recycled bottles are sorted manually or automatically on the basis of color, and to remove any foreign material or non-PET lids.
- The plastic is washed in a sterilizing bath, after which the clean containers are dried and crushed into tiny flakes.
- The flakes are washed again to ensure the purest possible final product
- These flakes become the raw material for new products for yarn, the light-coloured flakes are bleached, while flakes from darker bottles are used for yarn that will be dyed a dark color; the flakes are melted in a vat and forced through spinnerets to produce spin-able fibers.
- 10 plastic bottles = 1 pound of polyester fiber.
- 1 ton (2000) lbs of plastic bottles recycled saves 3.8 barrels of oil
- 1 million plastic bottles recycled saves 250 barrels of oil
- 1 million plastic bottles recycled eliminates 180 metric tons of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere.